The Effect of Group Music Therapy on Mood, Speech, and Singing in Individuals with Parkinson's Disease -- A Feasibility Study

Grieg Academy, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway.
Journal of music therapy (Impact Factor: 0.8). 09/2012; 49(3):278-302. DOI: 10.1093/jmt/49.3.278
Source: PubMed


Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder where patients exhibit impairments in speech production. Few studies have investigated the influence of music interventions on vocal abilities of individuals with PD.
To evaluate the influence of a group voice and singing intervention on speech, singing, and depressive symptoms in individuals with PD.
Ten patients diagnosed with PD participated in this one-group, repeated measures design study. Participants received the sixty-minute intervention, in a small group setting once a week for 20 consecutive weeks. Speech and singing quality were acoustically analyzed using a KayPentax Multi-Dimensional Voice Program, voice ability using the Voice Handicap Index (VHI), and depressive symptoms using the Montgomery and Asberg Depression rating scale (MADRS). Measures were taken at baseline (Time 1), after 10 weeks of weekly sessions (Time 2), and after 20 weeks of weekly sessions (Time 3).
Significant changes were observed for five of the six singing quality outcomes at Time 2 and 3, as well as voice range and the VHI physical subscale at Time 3. No significant changes were found for speaking quality or depressive symptom outcomes; however, there was an absence of decline on speaking quality outcomes over the intervention period.
Significant improvements in singing quality and voice range, coupled with the absence of decline in speaking quality support group singing as a promising intervention for persons with PD. A two-group randomized control study is needed to determine whether the intervention contributes to maintenance of speaking quality in persons with PD.

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